Betty Madsen

Growth as a follower of Christ probably means different things to different people. For me, this involves daily surrender to God in all things. Sometimes I can do this easily and other times it has been a real struggle.

Perhaps the biggest spiritual struggle I encountered was to make a decision to be baptized. I was paralyzed at the thought of standing in front of a large crowd, afraid of public speaking, terrified at the mere thought of sharing my spiritual journey for fear of becoming overly emotional, which comes quite naturally to me. In my own mind I had a hard time accepting that I even needed to be baptized, as my parents made that decision for me when I was 40 days old. Why did I have to do it all over again—this time as an adult? I had already accepted Christ as my own personal Saviour. I reflected on the differences between the church I had grown up in and PAC. PAC was a new church I had been invited to by Bob Britton, all because of a conversation about God, angels and a book I was reading about..the very same subject. God works in mysterious ways.

When I began to understand the significance of adult baptism by full immersion, I saw this as a step of obedience, as well as a public proclamation and celebration of faith and new life in Christ. My heart was moved every time I saw people getting baptized at PAC. I knew God wanted that for me but the internal struggle continued for a long time. Satan’s tools of self-doubt, fear and even just leading a busy life kept me distant. Ephesians 4:20 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption…”

I no longer wanted to grieve God’s Spirit. Considering that Christ died for me, the very least I could do was to follow His own Biblical example of baptism, in obedience. My confidence was in Him and on May 6, 2007 I was baptized—with joy! This was a visible lesson in walking in God-confidence, not in self-confidence.

Although becoming a church member is not a Biblical requirement, I see it as a natural transition in faith. I easily chose to become a member of PAC this year to reinforce a sense of belonging, commitment and direction. Membership is also a step in accountability and growth as well as a voice in issues and decisions that affect our church and community.

My life verse is Jeremiah 20:9— “His Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of keeping it in, indeed I cannot.” It will be interesting to see what God has in store for those whose hearts are on fire for Him.

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